Archbishop Race Heading For Photo Finish?
With the Commission charged with appointing the next Archbishop of Canterbury apparently struggling to come up with the answer, the betting reflects the fact that there are still several strong contenders, with the first five in William Hill's markeT all having been favourite at some stage of the process.
Hills currently make Justin Welby, once a 7/1 outsider, the 6/4 favourite to succeed Rowan Williams, with the Bishop of Norwich, Graham James, who is reportedly praying he does not get the position, 9/4 second favourite, ahead of the Bishop of Coventry, Christopher Cocksworth, a 5/2 shot.
'There seem to be as many candidates to succeed Rowan Williams as there will be to replace Sir Alex Ferguson as Manchester United manager - but the betting strongly suggests the ultimate winner will come from the first six in the market' said Hill's spokesman Graham Sharpe. 'By the time the decision is announced there will be tens of thousands of pounds riding on the outcome.'
William Hill's odds - Next Archbishop of Canterbury:
6/4 Justin Welby ........Bishop of Durham
9/4 Graham James .......Bishop of Norwich
5/2 Christopher Cocksworth .....Bishop of Coventry
4/1 John Sentamu ......Archbishop of York
6/1 Richard Chartres ....Bishop of London
8/1 James Jones .....Bishop of Liverpool
10/1 Tim Stevens ......Bishop of Leicester
14/1 John Packer ...Bishop of Ripon/Leeds
14/1 Nick Baines ......Bishop of Bradford
16/1 John Inge .....Bishop of Worcester
16/1 Stephen Croft ......Bishop of Sheffield
16/1 Tom Wright ...former Bishop of Durham
25/1 Stephen Cottrell ......Bishop of Chelmsford
33/1 David Urquhart ...Bishop of Birmingham
50/1 Alastair Redfern ...Bishop of Derby
50/1 John Pritchard .....Bishop of Oxford
50/1 Stephen Conway ....Bishop of Ely
100/1 Peter Bryan Price ...Bishop of Bath & Wells
1000/1 Cliff Richard